A Death in the Family–James Agee



Let me preface this post by saying that I love description.  I’m a huge fan of nineteenth-century literature.  I love Charles Dickens, and not just the Disney version of Christmas Carol. 

This means that my decision to stop reading A Death in the Family by James Agee is not because I am a modern ADD reader who needs constant dialogue and short chapters.  This book won a Pulitzer Prize.  It sounded promising.  I loved the first part.  The part before Jay died in a freak car accident.  I can even see the lyricism of Agee’s prose as he painstakingly describes the waiting of Mary and Hannah and Mary’s struggle to cope with the initial loneliness of widowhood. 

However, the description becomes painful.  I began to dread picking up the book. And, with fifty pages left, I realized I could not finish it.  Life is too short to read books that I dread.  Even Pulitzer-prize-winning books. 

Tragically (in an intellectual way), the next book on my pile is The Eggnog Chronicles.  Not exactly Pulitzer material. 

Maybe someday, when my life is not too depressing, maybe then I’ll return to A Death in the Family.  Until then, I’ll enjoy the Wonderbread of some more chick lit.

Gave up 11/30/11 on page 239 of 309


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